The Odisha government has inked supplementary lease deeds to facilitate reopening of 10 iron and manganese ore mines in Sundargarh district.
The lease deeds were executed for five mines owned by Rungta Group including Rungta Mines, Fee-grade & Company Ltd and the rest owned by Odisha Manganese & Minerals Ltd (OMM) and Aryan Mining & Trading Corporation Ltd (AMTC).
In toto, the state government has issued orders to extend the lease validity of 29 mines- 21 captive and the balance non-captive mines. Out of these 29 leases, 25 are iron and manganese ore mines which upon resuming operations can augment iron ore production by over 40 million tonne.
"Supplementary lease deeds are expected to be signed with the remaining lessees in a day or two. The state government expects to garner around Rs 2,000 crore from these lessees by way of stamp duty and registration fees," said a government official.
The collection from six mines of Tata Steel alone is estimated at more than Rs 500 crore. These six leases whose validity have been extended are Khandabandh, Manmora, Tiringa Pahad, Katamati, Joda West, Joda East and Bamebari.
The mines held KJS Ahluwalia, Kaypee Enterprises, Kalinga Mining Corporation, KN Ram & Company, Vivek Lall and Bargarh Cements would also sign the supplementary lease deeds.
The state government had allowed three months' time (from the date of issue of orders) to lessees to sign supplementary lease deeds.
Other conditions to operate mines include payment of NPV (net present value) dues and complying with the Supreme Court order to be pronounced in the final disposal of the cases relating to these mines as well as pending orders on recommendations of the MB Shah Commission of enquiry and the central empowered committee (CEC) on illegal mining in the state.
An interim order of the Supreme Court in May 2014 had triggered shutdown of 26 iron and manganese ore mines in the state. The top court held that such leases cannot operate under the provisions of 'deemed extension' under Mineral Concession Rules (MCR), 1960 unless the government passed express orders for their operations. Due to the temporary closure of these mines, iron ore production in Odisha shrank 39 per cent to 47.35 million tonne in 2014-15 from 77.84 million tonne in the year-ago fiscal.